PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — From a few less trips to grinning and bearing it, drivers all over are looking for ways to save at the pump. But through a mix of old school and high-tech, some people are staying ahead of the curve.
Yes, we know gas prices are sky high.
“They’re getting towards $4,” said Alex Martinez, of Pittsburgh’s South Side. “It’s not even really the official start of summer yet.”
Nate Locklin decided a few years ago that too much was enough.
“Once gas prices got past $3.50, it got too much to pay to drive in,” said Locklin, of the North Hills.
So, for the past few years, he’s been part of the online GasBuddy community, keeping tabs on gas prices through the region.
The GasBuddy Mobile App lets drivers record prices, earn points, and then use those to possibly cash in on free gas down the road.
Some decidedly lower-tech ideas to save gas include slowing down. The Department of Energy says staying under 60 miles an hour could cut fuel consumption up to 23 percent.
Also, avoid idling for a quick stop at the store, effectively getting you down to zero miles per gallon; or, you could ditch the car altogether.
When you think about businesses that really drive around all the time, especially in large SUVs, it really takes its toll on the bottom line.
But even for consumers, Consumer Reports says 25 percent of Americans are considering downsizing their car, which is good news for car dealers.
But dealers say these days, size doesn’t always matter.
“Just in a few years, the gas mileage has gone up five, six, seven, eight miles and gallon,” said Tim Fitzgerald, of Bowser Automotive Group. “That makes a big difference at $4 a gallon.”
Hybrids are still an option, but not a necessity for high fuel economy.
“All the manufacturers are focused on fuel economy,” Fitzgerald said. “Nissan, Subaru, you’re looking at all-wheel drive vehicles with close to 30 mpg.”
If you’re not in the market, shopping around still pays off – even if it’s a few cents at a time.
“It adds up over time, and it’s definitely nice to get the best deal,” added Locklin. “I don’t like being overcharged for anything.”